All over the world, you'll find buildings that are one-of-a-kind, often designed and built by people who aren't architects. John Green points out many of those buildings and the stories behind them, fascinating even when doled out in tidbits of trivia. Unique architecture is the topic on this week's episode of the Mental Floss List Show.
Leather is a durable, embossable and paintable material, but it's also extremely rigid and doesn't make for the most user friendly sculpting medium.
But those artisans who choose leather as their medium of choice have figured out ways to crease, bend, and otherwise shape leather in a sculptural way, creating spectacular and wearable works of skin art.
The German-born craftsman and "travelling science artist" had this to say about his works:
My objects sometimes take hundreds of hours to create due to fact that I use hand tools only. No machinery takes part in the process, every stitch is done by hand and there are thousands of it in every project.
Due to the fact that I am a traveller I focused on crafting leather items, because I don’t need to carry too many tools on my one-year journey. My leather items are all 100% hand-made, means: I use awl, needle and rivets instead of a sewing machine.
With a background of having studied Biology I find my inspiration in nature where I have fallen in love with organic shapes and structures.
The character design consists of my leather work combined with bodypainting, costume, props, basically whatever tells the story.
Remember the ten kittens who were supposed to pose for a portrait? They belong to Natalya and Evgeny Mishukovi, who are busy enriching their lives with things to play with. Here, they shower the kittens with a bunch of paper scraps to create a indoor pile of wonderfulness.
If you believe a burger is made up of a ground beef patty and two buns, then you might just consider these burger monstrosities pure blasphemy. But if you like extreme food creations you might consider these to be right up your alley. Some of these are pretty simple concepts that most people might be open to -like the Hawaiian burger with pineapple and ham on it, but others ask the diner to keep a very open mind -like the bogan burger that features steak, chicken schnitzel, a potato cake, bacon, egg, cheese, onion and even a slice of beet. No matter how brave you are though, I somehow doubt you'll be willing to try the beyond outrageous garbage burger that has over 20 ingredients, including five cheeses, peanut butter, peppers, marinara sauce, ice cream hot fudge and a cherry on top (read all the 20 ridiculous ingredients here).
Danger is Darkwing Duck's middle name, but his last name is Duck so when he wandered into a wet area where hunters were trying to bag winged game he should have ducked to avoid catching a tail full of buckshot. But a blasted dog kept laughing at him, which made him act all macho in an effort to show up that canine cut-up, so he marched straight out into the marshes with the ordinary ducks and got his lid blown off...
Warn cartoon ducks about the dangers posed by firearms with this Darkwing Hunt t-shirt by Dann Matthews, it oozes old school cool and is sure to make your fellow gamers grin wherever you go!
You know where facehuggers come from, don't you? From xenomorph eggs, of course! We can skip the middleman and just ingest the eggs first without all that face-hugging unpleasantness, when the eggs are made of cake.
Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies shows us how to recreate the eggs from the Alien movie series in delicious mint chocolate cake. This would be perfect for that Alien marathon party you've planned to prepare your crew for the new movie Alien: Covenant. Just don't blame us when they want to re-emerge from your chest. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Graduating from college is no small feat, so when a friend, family member or loved one manages to get that degree we want to reward their hard work with something worthwhile.
But far too often they're handed a teddy bear wearing a graduation cap and gown, a frame for their diploma, or some dumb gift set they end up tossing in a box and forgetting about.
If you really want to reward grads give them an unique gift they'll use, like the Exerpeutic WORKFIT 1000 exercise bike desk station above, the CuiZen PIZ-4012 Pizza Box Oven or this brilliant Selfie Ring Light.
And since they'll most likely be of legal drinking age when they graduate they'll want to drink to their success, or drown their sorrows about their student loan debt.
Which is why grads will need this Cocktail Computer- simply enter the ingredients you have on hand and the "computer" gives you suggestions for yummy drink recipes. It even includes mocktail recipes for those who can't booze it up but wanna hang anyway.
The most famous show business performers in history are no different than the unknowns, the obscures and the lesser knowns. Every performer has one thing in common- they all made their debut somewhere or other, whether auspicious or less so. Like they say, everyone has to start some place. Let's take a look at the show biz debuts and earliest performances of twenty stars.
1. Groucho Marx
Groucho (pictured at right) had an early gig singing in a protestant church choir. This worked out well until they found out he was Jewish and fired him.
2. Harpo Marx
Groucho's older brother Harpo (on the left) made his debut at Coney Island at the age of 19. He was hijacked from his safe job as a piano player in a nickelodeon movie theater and tossed on stage to accompany his brothers, Groucho and Gummo (and another singer named Lou Levy), as one of the Four Nightingales. Harpo was so scared he wet his pants. Harpo called it "the most wretched debut in the history off show business."
3. Sylvester Stallone
Sly got his first acting gig playing Smokey the Bear in a school play.
4. Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley's first-ever performance as a singer was in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair & Dairy Show. He was ten years old at the time. Dressed as a cowboy and wearing glasses, Elvis stood on a chair to reach the microphone. He sang Red Foley's "Old Shep" and won fifth prize in the contest. His prize was $5.00 plus a free ticket to all the rides at the fair.
5. Orson Welles
Orson's earliest public performance happened before he was ten years old. He appeared dressed as Peter Rabbit in the store window of Marshall Fields department store in Chicago. He was paid $25 a day.
Prior to 1917 members of the British Royal Family didn't use "common" last names at all, instead using their first name with the name of the house or dynasty they're part of, such as the House of Tudor or House of Wales.
But in 1917 King George V changed his house name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, a name derived from Windsor Castle which was changed due to anti-German sentiment.
George V not only changed the dynasty name- he made Windsor the royal family's surname, thereby doing away with any common last names.
To make matters more complicated Princess Elizabeth made another Royal Family name change when she married Philip Mountbatten and became Queen Elizabeth II, declaring the last name to be Mountbatten-Windsor.
So now descendents of the Mountbatten-Windsors can use Windsor, Mountbatten-Windsor, or if they have a title such as "His Royal Highness Prince" or "Her Royal Highness Princess" they don't have to use a surname at all. Now it's all so clear! *wink*
Screen Junkies' 200th Honest Trailer is for the relatively recent movie Logan. First, let me warn you, this is full of spoilers. I didn't know what Logan was about at all, except that it was a Wolverine movie, but now I feel like I've seen the whole thing. Second (and this is a spoiler for the video), they couldn't find anything bad to say about it. So if you haven't already seen the movie, you might want to sip this Honest Trailer until you do.
The problem was that there was such a lag between discovering something that gave us a wonderful color and the point we realized it was killing people. You'll hear several of those stories in this TED-Ed lesson from J. V. Maranto. -via Boing Boing
Around 4,000 people around the world die from lightning strikes every year, but about ten times as many are hit by lightning and survive. For those who survive a strike, the experience is so memorable that they've formed an international survivors group. Some only have memories of the experience, while others face lifelong effects and health issues, both mental and physical. Their stories are always scary.
A crashing boom. A jolting, excruciating pain. "My whole body was just stopped — I couldn't move any more," Justin recalls. "The pain was… I can't explain the pain except to say if you've ever put your finger in a light socket as a kid, multiply that feeling by a gazillion throughout your entire body."
"And I saw a white light surrounding my body — it was like I was in a bubble. Everything was slow motion. I felt like I was in a bubble forever."
A couple huddled under a nearby tree ran to Justin's assistance. They later told him that he was still clutching the chair. His body was smoking.
When Justin came to, he was looking up at people staring down, his ears ringing. Then he realized that he was paralyzed from the waist down. "Once I figured out that I couldn't move my legs, I started freaking out."
When a cat has a poor opinion of something, they will let you know, clearly, in their own way. In this complication video from the Pet Collective, you'll see cats hating on modern technology, toys, food, family members, and everyday objects.
On May 23, 1967, the sun fired off a flare so powerful that it was visible to the naked eye, and began emitting radio waves at a level that had never been seen before, study team members said.
That same day, all three of the Air Force's Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radar sites in the far Northern Hemisphere — which were located in Alaska, Greenland and the United Kingdom — appeared to be jammed.
Air Force officials initially assumed that the Soviet Union was responsible. Such radar jamming is considered an act of war, so commanders quickly began preparing nuclear-weapon-equipped aircraft for launch. (These newly scrambled aircraft would have been "additional forces," according to the study authors; the U.S. kept nuke-bearing "alert" planes aloft pretty much continuously throughout the 1960s.)
The geomagnetic storm that followed the flare disrupted radio signals for about a week afterward. But, as you can probably guess, World War III was not instigated. That was due to our government's early embrace of weather technology and space research, which you can read about at Sky and Telescope. -via Metafilter
Rocket normally likes to rush right into battle and start blasting fools, which is unusual since normal raccoons tend to be so cautious, but sometimes the fighting is so fierce he hesitates to enter the fray. That's when he looks to his little leafy pal Groot and asks him to drop in to the battle first, like a little dancing bark bomb ready to blow up the battlefield and serve as a diversion so Rocket can dive right in. The Guardians may be a bunch of a-holes, but they definitely know how to watch each other's backs and fight side-by-side until the battle is won.
Blow up your boring wardrobe by adding this Grootsky t-shirt by Cattoc_C, it's got the geeky street art swagger you've been looking for and it's sure to earn you a galaxy full of new fans!
Sooner or later, just about every family takes a road trip to Six Flags, Disney World, or some other large theme park to show the kids a good time. That means standing in line for a hour to ride a one-minute ride, paying out the wazoo for lunch, and dealing with tired, cranky kids (or even worse, bored teenagers) and sunburn. There's a price to pay for everything.
The family at the core of The Simpsons has been around for thirty years now, and in that time we've gotten to know dozens of the other residents of Springfield as they came and went, and came back again. However, there are a few characters that only appeared on the series once. Whether that's because the voice actor didn't want to repeat a performance, or there just wasn't a story fit for them, they became one-hit wonders. If you can recall the one episode these characters were in among the hundreds that have aired, then you're in rarified Simpsons fandom territory. Meet five of those characters at TVOM.
The latest hipster food obsession is the "avolatte," a latte (which is a fancy term for coffee with milk) served in an avocado shell. Developed at the Truman Cafe in Melbourne, the idea has spread through the internet and around the world, pretty much instantly.
It appears to be an eco-friendly way to add a bit of avocado flavor to the drink, but not everyone likes the idea. Personally, I do not like avocado, and I do like having a handle on my coffee cup. -via Laughing Squid
Jürgen Horn and Mike Powell continue their adventures in Vietnam, where they've been exploring villages on their own, without guides, away from the tourist spots. They'd heard that Tan Chau was where Vietnamese black silk was produced, so they set out with a map and their motorcycles -after three ferry trips across the river.
Properly motorized, we headed off in search of silk, stopping in a few towns where, to judge by the dumbfounded stares we received, foreigners are not an everyday occurrence. And nobody could help us. In fact, the famous black silk of Tan Chau didn’t seem to be all that famous in Tan Chau. Scouring the map, we decided to head to Long Chau, which looked like the region’s largest town. It was also the furthest away; if we struck out here, we agreed to give up.
Pressed right up along the river, Long Chau was cute, but we weren’t here to see the sights, dammit. We directed ourselves to the town’s central market, to look for silk vendors. If anyone knew where to find a silk manufacturing center, surely they. The owners of the first silk store were friendly but weirdly insistent we go to “Tân Châu Xứ Lụa”, which Google identified as a restaurant. “No, you must misunderstand us. But thanks anyway!”
Research about mechanisms to reduce a particular kind of noise compiled by Nan Swift, Improbable Research staff
Engineers dare to take on tasks that nature may have neglected. Here are four attempts to solve the noise-related problems arising from human sneezes or coughs.
Apisa’s Simple Sneeze Catcher “Sneeze Catching Method and Apparatus,” US patent 8910312, issued to Joseph Apisa, December 16, 2014. Apisa specifies:
An apparatus for catching bodily fluids ejected during a sneeze or cough, said apparatus comprising: a sleeve having a first open end... a closure being mounted on said sleeve and releasably retaining said frame in said closed position; a pad being removably positioned in said receiving space, said pad having anti-bacterial properties; and wherein said sleeve is configured to be worn on an arm of a person such that the person may sneeze or cough into said pad and that said pad captures and destroys bacteria exhaled by the person.
If we're going to have triangles, we may as well go whole hog with the geometry analogies. I think we cam all relate to the anxiety fractals more than the rest, amirite? This is the newest comic from John McNamee at Pie Comic.
If you didn't learn to swim as a child, it can be pretty difficult -and downright embarrassing- to ask someone teach you as an adult. What do you do? You buy a backyard pool like this guy and try to figure it out on your own.
However, it can be a traumatic experience, from the blowing up part, to the hose that doesn't work, to remembering why you never learned to swim in the first place. He should have invested in a lifeguard, too. -via Viral Viral Videos
You can always find an argument somewhere on the internet about what is and what is not a sandwich. With new food items constantly being developed, the line has grown quite thin. Is a hot dog legally a sandwich? It depends. How about a corn dog? A burrito? An ice cream sandwich? A Pop Tart? It all depends on who you ask, and why. For some jurisdictions, whether a food item is a sandwich makes a difference in how it is taxed or zoned. Some definitions come from courts, others from organizations. Mental Floss dug up five definitions of a sandwich from different governing bodies, which should be enough to keep the arguments going for a while.
This news anchor at the Russian channel MIR 24 is telling us about the planned renovation of some areas of Moscow, when she's interrupted by a Labrador retriever that had snuck behind the desk. It was startling.
She tries to keep her cool and continue with the news, but all the attention is on the dog. Finally, she ends this clip by explaining that this is why she is a cat person. It's not nice to be upstaged. -via Tastefully Offensive
Joss Whedon has come a long way from the days when he was writing for Roseanne, and since then many studios have asked Joss to write scripts based on their franchises.
But for some reason Warner Bros hired Joss to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie back in 2006 but by early 2007 the project had been cancelled, leaving us to wonder what a Whedon Wonder Woman movie would have looked like.
Everybody uses their brain power for different things- some use it to test scientific theories and figure out the world using math and physics, others use it to memorize dance moves or lines from a screenplay. But pop culture fans often use their minds to store song lyrics, movie quotes and other bits of seemingly useless trivia, their chosen fields of expertise. This makes no sense to the Mensa crowd, that is, until they need a movie quote or a song lyric to post on social media...
Show the world you're an unlimited font of pop culture knowledge with this My Brain Is 80% Song Lyrics 20% Movie Quotes t-shirt by Boots, and people will start testing you wherever you go!
Fairy tale characters were way too calm and composed considering the morbid situations they dealt with during their stories, and they acted like these dark moments were no big deal.
Pushing an old hag who eats kids into an oven and leaving "the ungodly creature to be burned to ashes" should have scarred Hansel for life, and Jack narrowly escaped the clutches of a hungry giant, which would have left him with PTSD.
And, as this Electric Bunny comic shows, Little Red should have totally lost it when her grandma emerged from the wolf's stomach alive and unharmed, leaving them both in need of therapy and a long shower!